Signatures, seals, ancient writings and other curiosities: in this section, the papers themselves tell their stories. Explore the talking documents of Generali’s Historical Archives, from the handwritten curriculum of Kafka to the Kurrentschrift (Gothic cursive) of many 19th century documents, from precious 17th century manuscripts to the wax seals on early minutes and the signatures of many prominent people on the Italian and international landscape.

Life insurance diorama (first half 20th century)

Propaganda and life – insurance, that is – on the stage!

“We don’t promote a product, we promote an idea” – the words of Napoleone Giuseppe Fiumi (b. London 1898, d. Trieste 1948), a Generali employee and well-known portrait artist, engraver and illustrator, in a 1941 article published in the company magazine, the Bollettino. His remarks referred to advertising’s social function of “making ...

Palazzo Bonaparte / ph. Andrea Artoni

In the heart of Rome: Palazzo Bonaparte

A large envelope containing photographs of mosaics and frescoes and inscribed “Villa Medici Palazzo Bonaparte”, and a small publication (L’INA per il Patrimonio architettonico Italiano, 1987), just two pieces of the great jigsaw puzzle of the Historical Real Estate Fonds of the INA Assitalia Historical Archive – a treasury of drawings, floor plans and elevations ...

Sorting machine

Hollerith vs Powers: 1-1

Restoration of the late 1920s “Remington Rand Powers” sorting machine, an old treasure of the Assitalia company’s mechanographic centre, was completed recently. Until 2003 this machine was exhibited in the Rome offices of INA, on Via Sallustiana. Following the sale of the building, it was moved to the company’s warehouse, and since 2016 has been ...

Michele Sulfina and the Staff of the Central Head Office (Trieste, 1927)

A photograph’s tale

Generali, an imposing staircase, celebrations for an important anniversary and an employee’s historical memory: all are represented in a photograph held in the Historical Archive, a rare and evocative period image containing a wealth of information.

The black and white photograph shows a group of people on the grand staircase of the Geiringer building, the Trieste ...

Hail Chart 1880 (Milan, 1881)

Valuable statistical materials

It is quite common today to hear big data referred to as the happiest intuition of this century, but it is well known that the collection of large quantities of data, combined with arcane – for most people at least – mathematical formulas, is at the base of actuarial science. The insurance sector has always ...

Decree of the Venetian Republic (Venice, 11 April 1848), detail

…and the Eagle became a Lion

The revolutionary movements that shook Europe in 1848 also struck Generali. Since January 1833, with governmental approval, the company founded in 1831 as “Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche” had operated under the Habsburg double-headed eagle symbol. On 28 March 1848, the Trieste management discussed the need for a different image despite being less sympathetic towards Italophile strains ...